It’s been approximately 9 years and 8 months since I left and yet, I still get a fresh pang of nostalgia when I hear a certain song or see items from that time. My heart tightens just a little and breathing gets to be difficult. I’ve tried to maintain contact with them all these years but you get caught up in your world here that sometimes, you forget. Liz Goings came home this year. During one of my busier times so I wasn’t able to take her around or spend much time with her. It was so strange having her in front of me though. It’s been 9 years and 8 months since I’ve seen anyone from Cerritos, with my cousins as the exception. I almost feel like I’ll never see my hometown again. Yet, I know I’m meant to, sometime in the future. I rarely get flashbacks now, though I still find myself staring into space, traveling back to Cerritos-land sometimes.
Play New Edition’s “Still In Love” or All-4-One’s “These Arms” and I’m back in my room at 12323 Cantrece Place. If I’m listening to either song, I’m most probably on the phone with B., or L., or J., painting my nails or ironing my hair straight. Back then, I loved going to school. I was dark as anything from running miles under the sun. I lived right behind my school so it was just a 5-minute walk. Wednesdays were late start days and Aruni would sometimes go to my house so that we could walk to school together. It was the happiest time in my life. Running up hills, forging lasting friendships, getting farted on by D. Spending hours on the phone, walking on carpeted floors, going to Target and the mall with mom. Eating Chick-Fil-A and those wonderful orange popsicles.
It’s been so long that now, it seems like it was all just a hazy dream. But then I dig into my huge plastic container full of Cerritos memorabilia and then I’ve got proof that it all existed. I’ll be holding my breath till the day I get on a flight to Cerritos to revisit the place that holds the best time of my life.
That’s the Cerritos Public Library where I used to spend hours researching and also where I met my second boyfriend, Daniel. The next photo is of Cerritos Towne Center, where we used to hang out. It’s similar to the Promenade the Seventh Heaven kids go to. Then there’s the track and cross country team, which I used to belong, the gym I used to spend study period in. Study period because I was excused from P.E. since I was an athlete. That’s Jason, I think. My former teammate who now coaches the track and cross-country team at CHS.